The Stoic Handbook by Jon Brooks

Zen Teacher Henry Shukman on the Balance of Meditation, Introspection, and Healing

September 18, 2023 Jon Brooks
The Stoic Handbook by Jon Brooks
Zen Teacher Henry Shukman on the Balance of Meditation, Introspection, and Healing
Show Notes

“If we’re in a fully awakened state, trauma’s not a problem. In a sense, it’s not trauma. It just becomes something beloved. It becomes washed through with love and acceptance. That’s the healing.”
— Henry Shukman, HEx Podcast #55

While Western mental health often focuses on eliminating trauma and pain as if they were thorns to be plucked, Eastern philosophies offer a contrasting perspective: embracing suffering through unconditional love and acceptance, thereby neutralizing its negative impact.

The terms "awakening" and "healing" are frequently used interchangeably, though they convey distinct concepts. Healing is the act of mending what is fragmented, optimizing what can be improved, and integrating what has been divided. In contrast, awakening refers to the awareness of reality's non-dual nature, a realization that there is nothing to mend or improve because everything is inherently perfect and whole.

So, should we bypass healing and jump straight to awakening? According to Henry Shukman, our guest for this episode, the answer is more nuanced.

Henry is a seasoned meditation instructor who has harmoniously blended various meditative disciplines with psychotherapy, plant medicine, and other therapeutic practices to create a synergistic path toward wholeness in his own life. From the depths of eczema and despair to profound enlightenment and peace, Henry has navigated a balanced pathway that he shares in this illuminating discussion.

Join us as Henry generously lays down the stepping stones for us to traverse the intricate landscapes of healing and awakening.

What We Explore:

  • Henry's transformative awakening journey and the subsequent emotional challenges
  • How awakening alters our relationship with trauma
  • A powerful solution to combat loneliness
  • Initiating the journey into non-duality while dealing with trauma
  • Practical approaches to working with Zen koans
  • Can ordinary individuals achieve true awakening?
  • Henry’s top Zen resources and recommendations
  • Strategies for finding the right spiritual mentors and practices
  • The viability of making substantial progress via online spiritual training courses


Tune in for an enlightening episode that bridges the gap between healing and awakening, and offers practical guidance for those navigating both realms.

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